Igniting the Imaginations of the Next Generation

Photo of 4 girls
We're inspiring thousands of girls and young women around the world to see that they can be the next generation of scientists and engineers—the dreamers and doers who will invent the future.

In the next few weeks, young female students from local schools, Cisco Networking Academies and non-profit organizations will spend a day with us, learning about technology. The girls, ages 13 to 18, will talk to Cisco employees about technical careers. They’ll see what goes on in a data center and a lab. And they’ll learn about the Internet of Everything (IoE).

It's part of our Girls Power Tech global mentoring initiative, and it's in celebration of International Girls in ICT Day. Employees in more than 80 Cisco locations, in more than 50 countries, are signing up to volunteer for an exciting and rewarding day of mentoring.

Why are we so passionate about this? Let's hear from some of the people organizing the activities. They tell us what drives them and why this is so important.

Photo of Belindia Scott

"At Cisco, we want to change the world. It's part of our culture. Girls Power Tech will pave the way for the next female techies."

Belindia Scott, Global SP Services, United States

Photo of Emma Broadbent

"Our role is to connect the unconnected—what better way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access technology."

Emma Broadbent, APJ Sales, Australia

Photo of Shahd Attar

"Today girls see technology all around them; it's part of their daily lives. And they are curious about the possibilities. Empowering girls to explore technology leads to a more innovative community."

Shahd Attar, Services, Saudi Arabia

Photo of Graciela Fallas

"A young student who participated last year told me that her visit to Cisco led to her decision to study engineering. We helped her follow her dreams."

Graciela Fallas Quesada, Americas Sales, Costa Rica

Photo of Arti Patel

"I didn’t have great career advisors or mentors as I was growing up and never thought I could work in a company like Cisco. I am fortunate to have been at Cisco for the three years, and I want to give back. As Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Arti Patel, EMEAR Sales, United Kingdom

Photo of Lindsay Simancek

"I have been in these girls' shoes. I'm a Network Academy graduate, and Cisco shaped my future.  After a few weeks at the academy, I decided I wanted to be a network engineer. The experience ignited my passion for technology and its role in improving society."

Lindsay Simancek, Americas Sales, United States

Photo of Le An

"Women can bring new ideas and thinking. And for women themselves, a technology career can make them more confident, and their confidence and wisdom will be passed down to their children."

Le An, Greater China Sales, China

Photo of Hital Muraj

"Students from underprivileged schools in Kenya will meet with mentors, use our technology and learn about careers. I'm passionate about changing the status quo of poor communities and inspiring them to believe in a brighter future. That starts by listening to voices that are unheard and helping them recognize their potential."

Hital Muraj, Operations, Kenya

Photo of Rohini Kamath

"By mentoring we are helping the next generation make informed career choices that could better their lives in the long run. Besides, having more girls in technology means building a better Internet of Things."

Rohini Kamath, Government Affairs, India

"I applaud Cisco for its commitment and invaluable efforts to raise awareness of the amazing possibilities open to girls who pursue a tech career."
- Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU
South Africa

The Girls Power Tech activities are part of our commitment to enabling young people of all backgrounds to learn about technology and pursue careers in technical fields. We are major corporate partner of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency that sponsors International Girls in ICT Day.

Kelly Kramer, EVP and Chief Financial Officer, and Chuck Robbins, SVP Worldwide Sales, are executive sponsors of our Girls Power Tech program, and they urge everyone to give their support. "Now is the time to ignite and inspire the next generation of students in technology," said Chuck. "We need to do all we can to build the diverse talent pipeline that will lead our industry into the future."

Innovation Challenge

This year we're encouraging the students to participate in our new IoT World Forum Young Women's Innovation Grand Challenge. This exciting contest asks female students between the ages of 13 and 18 to propose ideas for new uses for IoT technologies.

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